Thursday, May 16, 2013

Statement on the release of the Senate Ways and Means FY14 budget

Yesterday I released the following statement, after the Senate Committee on Ways and Means unveiled its $33.9 billion budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2014:

“The Fiscal Year 2014 budget proposal released today by the Senate Committee on Ways and Means clearly rejects once again the massive tax and spend measures that have been advocated by Governor Patrick, and responds to some important spending priorities such as transportation, special education and police training.  It also provides a “killed in the line of duty” death benefit for the family of slain MIT police officer Sean Collier, which is the right thing to do in light of the ultimate sacrifice made by this young officer who had such a promising life and career ahead of him.

The Senate Ways and Means budget makes a notable effort to reduce spending in many accounts.  Yet, in responding to yet another sizable budget gap, today’s proposal relies on a combination of over $627 million from one-time revenue sources and $450 million in tax increases, and that’s on top of the millions of dollars in additional tax increases that have been approved in recent years, including a $900 million increase in the sales tax implemented in 2009.

In order to put our state on a steady path toward economic prosperity and future balanced budgets, we need to ensure that the spending proposed by the Senate Ways and Means Committee can be sustained without continuing to resort to one-time fixes and burdening struggling household budgets with more taxes.  We must always remember that we live in uncertain economic times and the robust economic recovery we’ve hoped for hasn’t materialized.  Rather than continuing to raise taxes by millions of dollars, we need to address the real problems of unsustainable state spending and the need to create more jobs and enable a stronger economic recovery than the one we’re experiencing.

As we move forward in the budget process and prepare for next week’s floor debate, the Senate Republican Caucus will be looking for every opportunity to strengthen fiscal discipline in the process and to promote the type of sustainable job growth we need to generate the additional revenues that will help the state navigate through an uncertain economic climate.”


To view a copy of the proposed budget, click here.